Hello. I’m Darren.
Hey Darren. I’m Cara. Nice to meet you. So, what do you do?
I’m not only Darren. I’m also Man.
Okay. I’m a woman.
The “M” in “Man” was capitalized when I said it, you just couldn’t tell because I didn’t write it down. You know, we all represent a universal story.
Sure. So how’s your weekend?
Humans are bad. Did you know?
What? Oh. Okay. Well, yes, I guess I think that there’s good and bad in everyone.
They do bad things a lot, though.
Sure, you can’t argue with that, when you think about wars and the environment and everything.
The environment. We’re all complicit. The Earth gives and we take, we take, we take.
Okay, I agree with that. I read The Giving Tree.
I probably think humans are worse than you do. That is my cross to bear.
Hm, sure, that’s probably true. So what brings you to this pool party? Are you friends with Jen?
When I said “cross to bear” that was a reference to Jesus, did you hear that? Anyway, you think you have friends, sure, but people are slaves to their brute desires in the end.
I actually know Jeff. But I’ve gotten to know Jen pretty well since they moved in together. It’s a beautiful house, right?
Houses can often be more like prisons. Families like jailers. Love is a bargain where no one wins.
So you live alone, or…
Women are treated so horribly, don’t you think?
Oh. As a woman, I do thin-
They’re so pure, well-meaning, but they get called “bitches.” “Whores.” “Sluts.” Just foul, awful language they don’t deserve.
Yeah, the other day on the street a man call-
‘Cunts’ too. And they’re attacked not only with language, but physically too. Shirts torn off and dragged around by their tits. Powerless. Sexually degraded.
Yeah, the percentage of women who have been sexually assault-
But it can be hot sometimes when two women make out, you know?
Oh. Um, do you want a beer? I might go grab a beer.
Ah yes, vice, escape, release, but is any of it real?
How about some seven-layer dip then?
Seven layers, seven deadly sins. Who is eating who? Eve bites the apple, you know?
I don’t mean to be rude, but that seems a little like a mixed metaphor.
Now I don’t want to really go into that. You either see it or you don’t.
Okay. So… What do you do for fun?
What’s fun for me is leaning into the darkness. Sharing that darkness with the world.
Yes, I see how that’s something that comes naturally to you.
Naturally. Nature. Human nature. I’m no better than the rest of them, even me. An artist.
I did an adult coloring book the other day.
Art is only true when it makes you shiver with despair. And humor. There is no destruction without laughter. If you truly get it, you can’t help! but laugh.
Did you slip an exclamation point in the middle of that sentence?
Language matters. The genius of thinking to add an exclamation point matters. But still, when the time comes, we will all be engulfed in chaos.
It’s definitely a weird time to be alive, for sure. Donald Trump. North Korea.
A dead baby.
People eating a dead baby.
Oh, ring ring, looks like my phone’s ringing. I better take this. “Hello?”
Ah the curse of being a provocateur. Yet we begin the cycle of conversation, of life, once more. Hello, I’m Darren.